Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A metrical unit consisting of seven feet.
  • n. A line of verse consisting of seven metrical feet.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a line or verse containing seven metrical feet

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In prosody, a verse consisting of seven measures.

Etymologies

hepta- +‎ meter (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Verses of seven and eight feet are rare; they are called heptameter and octameter, respectively.

    English: Composition and Literature

  • All translation is compromise, and any decision leans one way or the other, but the idea that free verse is automatically the best and most “transparent” choice is full of assumptions, as is the idea that blank verse is somehow the perfect choice for the dactylic heptameter of classical epics.

    and the pleiades : Stephen Burt : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

  • Dorothy used the word "irregular" in the titles of three of her poems, but "Irregular Verses" bears the most glaring metrical aberrance of the three: the moment in line 43, the only line of heptameter in the poem: "Though in our riper years we each pursued a different way."

    'Put to the Blush': Romantic Irregularities and Sapphic Tropes

  • As luck would have it, on this day Tai-jui was, on account of business, compelled to go home; and having left them as a task no more than a heptameter line for an antithetical couplet, explaining that they should find a sentence to rhyme, and that the following day when he came back, he would set them their lessons, he went on to hand the affairs connected with the class to his elder grandson,

    Hung Lou Meng

  • She furthermore directed that such tablets as were already put up, should not be dismounted, and she forthwith took the lead and composed an heptameter stanza, the burden of which was:

    Hung Lou Meng

  • With these words, she walked up to the book-case, and, extracting a volume, she opened it, at random, at some verses which turned out to be a heptameter stanza.

    Hung Lou Meng

  • Afterwards, look over the one hundred and twenty stanzas of Lao T'u, in the heptameter rule; and next read a hundred or two hundred of the heptameter four-lined stanzas by Li Ch'ing-lieu.

    Hung Lou Meng, Book II Or, the Dream of the Red Chamber, a Chinese Novel in Two Books

  • The claim of a few modern commentators that the chapter gives distinct evidences of meter (heptameter) has been demonstrated by K.C. as built on sand.

    Exposition of Genesis: Volume 1

  • Lumsden does not vary his measure, but preserves the iambic heptameter throughout.

    The Translations of Beowulf A Critical Bibliography

  • ” The former is trochaic—the latter is octameter acatalectic, alternating with heptameter catalectic repeated in the refrain of the fifth verse, and terminating with tetrameter catalectic.

    The Philosophy of Composition

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.